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Crown jewel of Church museum

International Art Competition features prominent, obscure artists

For more than a decade, the International Art Competition has been among the crown jewels at the Museum of Church History and Art.

Past competitions have focused on subjects that encompassed the faith of individuals to the Church's collective history and community. The exhibits have included entries of varied media submitted by LDS artists from almost all corners of the globe — combining to form a rich exhibit of diverse yet unified testimony. Entrants have included well-known artists along with many obscure talents who made debuts of sorts at the popular exhibit.

Once again, the museum is preparing for its international art competition, inviting LDS artists to create new works of art representing the theme "Remembering the Great Things of God." The theme of the competition's eighth installment is drawn from scriptures that teach the importance of acknowledging and remembering God's works, promises and covenants to His children.

How one remembers such divine attributes can be, at once, personal and universal. For that reason, curators at the museum are not offering specifics on art subjects. Instead, artists are encouraged to enlist their own experiences as they paint, carve, sculpt, weave, weld, mold or photograph.

"Remembering the Great Things of God" can be defined as all things that deal with the LDS experience — the lifestyle, Church history, doctrines or teachings, according to exhibit curator Robert Davis. The range of interpretation is limitless.

Indeed, the exhibit will allow artists to share their own testimonies via the visual arts.

The exhibit is open to members who are age 18 and older by Dec. 31, 2008. Each entrant may submit only one work of art that has been created after Jan. 1, 2006. The competition welcomes a wide range of cultural and aesthetic traditions, styles and media. The maximum size limit for artwork is 85 inches (213 centimeters) in the longest dimension, including the frame.

Entry deadline is Oct. 10, 2008.

According to curators, entries will be judged "on the successful expression of Latter-day Saint subject matter; on the excellence of aesthetic and technical accomplishment; and on the creativity, originality and quality of the art."

Following two rounds of judging, winning entries will be shown in an exhibit scheduled to run March 20, 2009, through Oct. 11, 2009. Cash awards will be given to recognize outstanding pieces. A number of entries will be purchased for the museum's permanent collection.

Further information on submission instructions, rules and deadlines can be found at the museum's Web site, www.lds.org/churchhistory/museum.

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